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Team Decision-Making Practice Activities. Gizmos Unbelievable! Brainstorming. Gizmos. Objective To share team members’ individual knowledge and make team decisions by determining the proper terms for miscellaneous obscure objects. Applications Communication Decision Making

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team decision making practice activities

Team Decision-Making Practice Activities

Gizmos

Unbelievable!

Brainstorming

gizmos
Gizmos

Objective

To share team members’ individual knowledge and make team decisions by determining the proper terms for miscellaneous obscure objects.

Applications

  • Communication
  • Decision Making
  • Group Interaction
  • Leadership
  • Team Effort

Group Size

Unlimited. Participants will work in teams of up to five members each.

Time Required

Approximately twenty minutes

Materials

A pencil and a Gizmos Worksheet for each participant; an additional Gizmos Worksheet for each team; a copy of the Gizmos Answer Sheet.

Team Decision-Making Practice Activities

slide3
Process
  • Explain that there are some functional objects existing around us which we may not know by their proper terms. This activity will strive to “pool” the group’s knowledge to determine the technical terms for certain objects.
  • Distribute a pencil and one copy of the Gizmos Worksheet to each participant. Direct group members to complete the worksheet alone, matching the term they think is correct for each of the ten definitions. Allow approximately five minutes for completion of individual work.
  • When participants have completed the worksheets, instruct them to form teams of up to five members each. Assign one member of each group to act as the team leader.
  • Distribute one copy of the Gizmos Worksheet to each team leader. Explain that group members should work together to come to a team decision on the correct answer for each item. The team leader is responsible for coordinating group discussion and recording the team’s answers.
  • Allow approximately ten minutes for the group members to work together.
  • Using team feedback and the Gizmos Answer Sheet, review the correct terms for the described items with the participants. You may choose whether or not you wish to provide definitions for the other terms shown on the worksheet (these definitions are provided on the answer sheet).

Discussion

  • Did group members do better with their individual answers or as a team? Why?
  • What role did the leader take in the decision-making process?
  • How does the use of technical terminology and/or acronyms affect the communication process?
  • What other kinds of “filters” break down communication? (perception, experience, environment, etc.)
  • How can we improve the overall communication process in the workplace?

Team Decision-Making Practice Activities

gizmos worksheet
The small embroidered loop forming a decorative edging on ribbon.

capuche

frizette

picot

The metal spike on hiking boots.

crampon

petard

languet

The little metal band around a pencil, right before the eraser.

larch

circumflex

ferrule

The block or slab on which a statue rests.

foramen

plinth

palanquin

The outer rim section of a wheel.

druse

felly

parget

The small round pulley that regulates the speed of magnetic tape in a recorder.

capstan

newel

operon

The vertical strip dividing the panes of a window.

cullis

filature

mullion

The plastic or metal tip of a shoelace.

aglet

gussett

groat

The pointed gardening tool that makes holes for planting bulbs.

ostiole

dibble

pawl

The small magnifying glass used by jewelers.

lapin

binnacle

loupe

Gizmos Worksheet

Circle the answer that best matches the definition provided

Team Decision-Making Practice Activities

unbelievable
Unbelievable!

Objective

To determine as a group which of three subject statements is false on a sheet of unbelievable “facts.”

Applications

  • Conflict Resolution
  • Data Analysis
  • Decision Making
  • Icebreaker
  • Time Pressure

Group Size

Unlimited. Participants will work in teams of up to five members each.

Time Required

Approximately ten minutes

Materials

A pencil and one copy of the Unbelievable! Worksheet for each participant; a clock or timer.

Team Decision-Making Practice Activities

slide6
Process
  • Instruct participants to form teams of up to five members each. Distribute a pencil and one copy of the Unbelievable! Worksheet to each participant. Read the instructions at the top of the worksheet. Stress that team members should discuss the statements and come to a consensus on the one statement in each set that is False. Teams will have exactly five minutes to complete the worksheet.
  • Signal for the groups to begin working together on the worksheets. Give a one-minute warning before the time expires.
  • Obtain feedback from teams on the answers to each question. Ask for some reasons why teams chose the statement that they did; check for different answers/reasons from other teams. Reveal the correct answer for each topic set.

Discussion

  • What criteria did your team use in determining which statement was the false one?
  • How were conflicts resolved?
  • What are some ways in which we can check the accuracy of information we obtain? (e.g., check a variety of sources, be aware of inconsistencies)
  • How does time pressure affect our use of data in the workplace?

Team Decision-Making Practice Activities

unbelievable worksheet
Unbelievable! Worksheet

Each topic below contains two TRUE statements and one that is FALSE. Your team is to select the statement that you think is FALSE.

1. a) It would take 17 years for a 747 jumbo jet to get from the Earth to the Sun.

b) Jupiter has a total of 8 moons orbiting it.

c) On Venus, a day lasts the equivalent of 243 Earth days.

2. a) During a 4-day eating marathon held by the Duke of Burgundy in the 15th Century, 28 musicians performed inside a giant pie.

b) A London gentleman held an equine feast in 1864 which served horse consommé, horse liver, and a roast filet of Pegasus.

c) In 1833, President Andrew Jackson had a banquet catered by the Iroquois Indians which included 20,000 pieces of chicken wings, 3,000 ears of corn-on-the-cob, and 5,000 sticky buns.

3. a) Hurricanes in Australia are called “willy-willies.”

b) An “umiak” is an Eskimo boat made of skins stretched on a wooden frame.

c) The mask used by actors in ancient Greek drama plays is called a “trakhus.”

4. a) The ice cream Sunday originated because fountain owners received ice cream fresh from local dairies on Mondays, and on preceding Sundays they got rid of last week’s leftovers by serving combinations of random flavors topped with syrup, fruit and nuts.

b) The Good Humor ice cream brand was so named because the founder, Harry Burt, believed that “the humors of the mind are regulated by the palate.”

c) The ice cream brand Frusen Gladje means “frozen delight” in Swedish.

5. a) The pop-up toaster was invented by George Westinghouse.

b) The inventor of the electric razor was Jacob Schick.

c) Rudolf Diesel invented the diesel engine.

6. a) Doppelganger is German for “phantom double.”

b) Beau geste is French for “noble gesture.”

c) Aurea mediocritas is Latin for “inferior quality.”

7. a) Eric Arthur Blair used the pen name George Orwell when he wrote Animal Farm and 1984.

b) The real name of Pearl S. Buck, who wrote The Good Earth, was Camille Buccacio.

c) L. Frank Baum, author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, also wrote under the pseudonym Edith Van Dyne.

Team Decision-Making Practice Activities

brainstorming
Brainstorming

Goals: I. To allow the team members to learn about the technique of brainstorming.

II. To offer the team members an opportunity to practice brainstorming.

III. To encourage the team members to use a proven technique to solve a group problem.

Group Size: Twelve to twenty participants in groups of four or five members each.

Time: Approximately one hour.

Setting: A room with movable chairs.

Materials: I. A copy of the Procedure and Rules for Brainstorming for each team member.

II. A copy of the Madison Avenue Problem for each team member.

III. Blank paper and a pencil for each team member.

IV. A newsprint flip chart and a felt-tipped marker for each group.

V. Masking tape for posting newsprint, for each group.

Procedure: I. The leader tells the team members that in this activity they will use the technique of “brainstorming” to do individual and then group problem solving. The leader distributes copies of the Procedure and Rules for Brainstorming, tells the members to read it, and elicits and answers any questions about the brainstorming procedure. (Ten minutes.)

II. The leader gives each member a copy of the Madison Avenue Problem, a sheet of blank paper, and a pencil. Working individually, each member then spends ten minutes brainstorming as many possible solutions as he or she can and recording these solutions on his or her sheet of paper.

III. After ten minutes, the leader calls time and asks the members to hold on to their lists of ideas. The leader then directs them to form groups of four persons each. (There may be a group of five if there is an odd number of participants.)

Adapted from S. Forbess-Greene (1983). The Encyclopedia of Icebreakers: Structured Activities that Warm-Up, Motivate, Challenge, Acquaint and Energize. San Diego, CA: Pfeiffer & Company. Also adapted from J. W. Pfeiffer and J. E. Jones (eds.) (1974). A Handbook of Structured Experiences for Human Relations Training (Vol. III, rev.). San Diego, CA: Pfeiffer & Company. Also adapted from J. W. Pfeiffer (Ed.) and A. C. Ballew (Assoc. Ed.) (1991). Theories and Models in Applied Behavioral Science (Vol. 3: Management/Leadership). San Diego, CA: Pfeiffer & Company.

Team Decision-Making Practice Activities

slide9
IV. The groups are given newsprint, felt-tipped markers, and masking tape and are directed to spend five minutes brainstorming additional solutions to the same problem and recording them on the newsprint, reproducing the original phrasing as closely as possible.

V. The leader reassembles the total group and asks the team members how they felt about the individual versus the group brainstorming process.

VI. The leader asks the members to compare the number of solutions generated in the individual and in the group problem-solving efforts.

VII. The leader then asks, “Do you think there were more solutions generated in the group session solely because there were more people or was there some other factor at work?” When the members have responded, the leader then tells the group that the concept of synergy says that the whole is more than the sum of its parts; that is, people often build on the ideas of others, so working with others can spark ideas and creativity that often do not occur when one is working alone. This is why combinations of, additions to, and variations of ideas are encouraged in brainstorming sessions.

VIII. The leader tells the members that they will now engage in the second half of the activity. The leader helps them to establish criteria for evaluating their ideas. These criteria are written on newsprint and posted prominently so that all members can see them throughout the evaluation phase. (Ten minutes.)

IX. The groups are reformed, and the members discuss and evaluate their ideas and select the most workable single idea or combination of ideas. (Fifteen minutes.)

X. The total group is assembled, and the leader leads a discussion of the activity, eliciting the members’ ideas about how they can use the technique to their best advantage in future problem-solving efforts.

Team Decision-Making Practice Activities

procedure and rules for brainstorming
Procedure and Rules for Brainstorming

The Idea-Generation Phase:

  • The team members sit so that they can see one another and the newsprint flip chart.
  • The brainstorming session begins with a statement of the problem or topic in specific terms. The problem should be simple, rather than complex, so that the group can focus on a single target.
  • One idea about how to solve the problem is offered by any one member. Then, the individual to that person’s left (or right) contributes an idea, and so on around the group until no one has any ideas left. Only one member speaks at a time. This allows all members the “space” to participate and encourages “piggybacking” on previous ideas.
  • While the members are contributing ideas, a recorder (not necessarily the leader) lists all ideas (but not who suggested them) on newsprint or a chalk board as soon as the ideas are generated. The exact wording of each idea is duplicated as closely as possible.
  • The list of ideas is positioned so that all member scan see it all the time.
  • Anyone may “pass” on a particular round if he or she has nothing to contribute.
  • The time allotted for idea generation may be from a portion of an hour (intensive brainstorming) to several days (“add new ideas as you think of them”), depending on the needs and schedule of the group.

Rules:

  • No criticism, evaluation, judgment, or defense of ideas is to occur during the idea-generation (“brainstorming”) phase. The objective here is to generate as many ideas as possible, not decide on their merits.
  • All ideas are encouraged. No idea is too “outrageous” to mention. Creativity is the goal, and members are encouraged to say whatever occurs to them as a solution, no matter how far-fetched it may seem. Far-fetched ideas may trigger more practical ones.
  • Quantity is more important than quality as this stage. The more ideas there are, the more likely it is that there will be several useful ideas.
  • “Piggybacking” is encouraged. Members should feel free to combine ideas and to add to or build on the ideas of others in order to create combinations, improvements, or variations.

Team Decision-Making Practice Activities

procedure and rules for brainstorming cont d
Procedure and Rules for Brainstorming (cont’d)

The Evaluation and Selection Phase:

  • It should be clear whether this group will make the final decision on the solution or will make recommendations only.
  • Criteria are established by which the ideas will be evaluated. The criteria may include feasibility, complexity, cost, human factors, timing, quality, resources required, safety, work flow, and any other pertinent factors. It should be decided whether any idea must meet a certain number of these criteria in order to be considered in the final evaluation.
  • Each idea is discussed and evaluated. Ideas may be combined.
  • It may be necessary to conduct several levels of evaluation before a final solution is selected.
  • The single idea or combination of ideas that represents the best solution is then announced to all concerned.

Team Decision-Making Practice Activities

madison avenue problem
Madison Avenue Problem

A New York store that specializes in lingerie has been suffering a significant decline in sales during the past year. Management is unsure about the cause(s) of this loss except that it may be attributed to more aggressive marketing by its competitors (large numbers of direct-mail advertisements, more ad space in the New York Times, more costly window displays, etc.). Because the store is unable to find additional funds for marketing, its management has decided to find new ways to increase the store’s marketing efforts without spending more money.

You have been brought in as a consultant to assist in increasing the store’s sales. How is this to be done?

Team Decision-Making Practice Activities